Harby man killed in road crash ‘may have been distracted’ inquest hears

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An elderly man who died suddenly as a result of his car colliding into an oncoming 4x4 may have been distracted, an inquest was told.

Kenneth James Draper (81), from Harby, veered across the road in his black Citroen Saxo and into the path of a green Land Rover Discovery on Waltham Lane, near Long Clawson.

He suffered serious neck and chest injuries, said Loughborough coroner Carolyn Hull.

The inquest on Friday was told that the pensioner had been travelling towards Long Clawson at around 12.50pm on September 21 last year.

He was coming towards the bottom of a hill when he inexplicably veered into the path of the Land Rover.

Mr Draper was pronounced dead at the scene having sustained a dislocated neck.

Toxicology reports found no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system and there was no evidence that he fell asleep at the wheel.

In a submitted testimony read out at the inquest, forensic crash investigator Pc Darrell Wilson said there was no evidence of any skid marks on the road, ruling out the possibility of speeding.

Both vehicles had been found to be roadworthy and did not contribute to the crash.

However, the air bag in the Saxo did not deploy at the point of collision. Pc Wilson said there was no explanation for why this happened and added that it was not the reason for Mr Draper’s death.

He added: “The road was slightly wet but driving conditions were normal.

“I can’t rule out the possibility that the driver of the Saxo was distracted.”

Concluding his evidence, Pc Wilson said there was little the Land Rover could have done to avoid the crash.

In a further submitted testimony, a witness to the collision said that at the point of impact she had not seen the Saxo’s brake lights come on.

Concluding that Mr Draper died in a road traffic collision, Ms Hull said there was no explanation as to why he veered into the path of the Land Rover.

She added: “He may have experienced a bout of dizziness or may have been distracted, but this is all speculation.”